Is Foreign Trade the Cause of Manufacturing Job Losses?

Brief

Is Foreign Trade the Cause of Manufacturing Job Losses?

April 13, 2018

Abstract

This brief, the second in a series on manufacturing’s role in the US economy, shows the difference between the gross and net effects of trade on manufacturing employment. I analyze the economics of trade and how it affects domestic employment, trade and employment trends across manufacturing industries in three periods, and how many manufacturing jobs the US would have if we had no trade deficit. I find that the net effect of the US trade deficit accounts for only a small decline in US manufacturing employment and that changing trade agreements will not restore manufacturing to its past prominence.

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